Welcome to the next in our series of Fantasy Bundesliga stats-based articles! I hope you’ve all had a great festive period and are now looking forward to the return of Bundesliga football. Given that we have just had the mid-season winter break and the teams have now all played each other once, this time, we will look at the stats for the top-performing BL players and teams of the campaign so far.


Bundesliga Team Stats

Firstly, let’s take a look at which teams have performed the best over the course of the season so far.

Attacking

Goals

  1. Bayern Munich | 56
  2. Borussia Dortmund | 41
  3. Bayer Leverkusen | 40
  4. Hoffenheim | 35
  5. RB Leipzig | 30

xG (G – xG)

  1. Bayern Munich | 54.79 (+1.21)
  2. RB Leipzig | 37.00 (-7.00)
  3. Borussia Dortmund | 33.81 (+7.19)
  4. Hoffenheim | 30.05 (+4.95)
  5. Borussia Mönchengladbach | 28.86 (-6.86)

Big chances created

  1. Bayern Munich | 63
  2. RB Leipzig | 42
  3. Borussia Dortmund | 38
  4. FC Köln | 34
  5. Mainz 05 | 32

xA

  1. Bayern Munich | 33.6
  2. RB Leipzig | 26.3
  3. Hoffenheim | 21.6
  4. Borussia Dortmund | 20.8
  5. FC Köln | 20.3

If you’ve been following these articles throughout the season, it should come as little surprise that Bayern Munich top the list for each attacking stat. As is typical of the last few seasons, none of the other teams can keep pace with the fiery Bayern attack, with them outperforming the trailing pack by at least 15 goals, 21 big chances created and an accrued xG of over 17. They really are in a league of their own in terms of attacking performance. Maintaining good coverage of their attacking players is crucial in BL Fantasy for this reason. While many COVID-related absences currently diminish their ranks, their squad is such that they would hope to perform close to this level, regardless. However, make sure to keep an eye on this when picking your teams!

Second behind Bayern in all stats except actual goals scored is RB Leipzig. This highlights what a frustrating season it has been for Leipzig so far, with their league position a lowly 10th by comparison – goals scored, after all, is the most important of these attacking stats. Their 30 goals scored from an xG of 37.00 represents the second-lowest xG underperformance in the league so far (after Wolfsburg, with an xG – G of -7.87), indicating that finishing has been their main issue in this sense. Coupled with them being middle of the road defensively, after formerly hosting one of the league’s best defences under Nagelsmann, this has seen them drop to their current mid-table position.

Borussia Dortmund is the only other team to appear in all four top-fives. However, in contrast with Leipzig, they have been clinical and have significantly overperformed their xG so far, placing them second in terms of goals scored (and in the actual league table). The only team to better their xG by a more significant margin is Bayer Leverkusen, who have managed 40 goals from an xG of just 26.09 – a huge overperformance of +13.91, with all of their top five goalscorers having overperformed their xG (most notably Patrik Schick; see later).

Hoffenheim have also been impressive in terms of their goalscoring exploits this season, placing 3rd for goals scored and 4th for xG, respectively, while boasting a notable xG overperformance of +4.95. FC Köln have performed well in terms of chance creation, ranking 4th and 5th for big chances created and xA, respectively. However, they have not yet been clinical in converting these chances into goals, with them placing only 7th for both xG and goals scored.

 

Defensive

Clean sheets

  1. Bayern Munich, Freiburg, Mainz 05, Union Berlin | 6
  2. Arminia Bielefeld, Augsburg, Bochum, Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg | 5
  3. Bayer Leverkusen | 4

Goals conceded

  1. Bayern Munich, Freiburg | 16 
  2. Mainz 05 | 17
  3. Union Berlin | 21
  4. RB Leipzig, Arminia Bielefeld | 22
  5. Eintracht Frankfurt | 24

Best xGA (xGA – GC)

  1. Bayern Munich |  14.75 (-1.25)
  2. Mainz 05 | 17.17 (+0.17)
  3. Union Berlin | 19.70 (-1.30)
  4. Freiburg | 23.10 (+7.10)
  5. Bayer Leverkusen | 24.44 (-3.56)

On the defensive side of things, there is notable consistency between the three lists. Largely on account of how they dominate their games – a strong 63.4% possession across their league matches so far – Bayern Munich again appear at the top of the rankings in each case. Despite conceding slightly more than expected based on their xGA, they are the only team in the league with both goals conceded and xGA per game below 1.00. Another team that have impressed this season defensively is Freiburg, who share the crowns of most clean sheets and fewest goals conceded with Bayern. This has come while ranking only 4th in the league for xGA, with their 16 goals conceded being a significant xGA overperformance of +7.10;  a welcome consequence of having the top-performing goalkeeper in the league (Mark Flekken, currently 1st for save percentage this season; see below).

Two other teams proving tough to score against this season are Mainz 05 and Union Berlin. In this sense, Union have slightly improved on the solidity they started to show last season, during which they conceded the 4th fewest goals and 6th lowest xGA overall. On the other hand, Mainz ended the season joint 4th worst for goals conceded and mid-table in terms of xGA, and have, hence, shown a drastic improvement in their defense. Both teams offer great value defenders in Fantasy Bundesliga, particularly in their attacking wing-backs – current cheap starters Aaron Martín (M05, 3.6M) and Niko Giesselmann (FCU, 5.2M) should be firmly on your radar.

As a final point, it is interesting to note that two of last year’s more solid defences, RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg, appear to have been negatively affected by their changes in management. Despite their five cleansheets, this year, Wolfsburg ranks 7th worst for xGA, while Leipzig has been fortunate in conceding only 22 goals from an xGA of 27.74 (overperformance of +5.74). These are no longer defences to try to avoid when choosing your Fantasy Bundesliga attacking players.

Worst xGA (xGA – GC)

  1. Fürth | 34.07 (-14.93)
  2. Bochum | 32.38 (+6.38)
  3. Augsburg | 31.83 (+5.83)
  4. Arminia Bielefeld | 31.33 (+9.33)
  5. VfB Stuttgart | 29.58 (-1.42)

If you’ve been playing Fantasy Bundesliga regularly this season, this list of the teams with the worst xGA will likely not surprise you. Fürth have been the team to target with attacking players basically all season long, as evidenced here, with them having the worst xGA (averaging just over 2.00 per game) while conceding almost 15 goals more than expected. The top five is then completed by three other teams in the relegation survival fight (Augsburg, Arminia Bielefeld, VfB Stuttgart) and the other promoted side, Bochum. This list highlights the difference that a good goalkeeper can make to a team. In-form fantasy favorite Manuel Riemann (BOC, 5.8M) and established Bundesliga keepers Rafal Gikiewicz (FCA, 6.6M) and Stefan Ortega (DSC, 8.2M) have been making the difference for their respective teams by helping them to overperform significantly relative to their xGA – where would Bielefeld be without Ortega?





Fantasy Bundesliga Player Stats

Now let’s focus on the players who have the best stats for the season so far.

Goals, Expected Goals (xG) and Shots

Goals

  1. Robert Lewandowski (FCB) | 19
  2. Patrik Schick (B04) | 16
  3. Erling Haaland (BVB) | 13
  4. Anthony Modeste (KOE) | 11
  5. Serge Gnabry (FCB), Taiwo Awoniyi (FCU) | 9

xG (G – xG)

  1. Robert Lewandowski (FCB) | 20.72 (-1.72)
  2. Patrik Schick (B04) | 10.32 (+5.68)
  3. Anthony Modeste (KOE) | 10.21 (+0.79)
  4. Erling Haaland (BVB) | 8.84 (+4.16)
  5. Taiwo Awoniyi (FCU) |  8.38 (+0.62)

Shots

  1. Robert Lewandowski (FCB) | 76
  2. Anthony Modeste (KOE) | 64
  3. Leroy Sané (FCB) | 55
  4. Andrej Kramaric (TSG) | 47
  5. Christopher Nkunku (RBL), Erling Haaland (BVB) | 46

Looking at the top five lists for the key goal threat statistics, we see that these are dominated, perhaps unsurprisingly, by some of the league’s talismanic strikers. As usual, Robert Lewandowski (FOR, 21.2M) is the cream of the crop, topping the rankings for each goal, xG and shots taken. Despite making it to 19 goals at the halfway point, Lewandowski has underperformed his xG for the season. Therefore, he is failing to continue his clinical form from last year’s record-breaking 41-goal season, which came with a very high xG overperformance of +8.92. Either way, he is still streets ahead of the other players in the league when it comes to accumulating chances to score – his xG of 20.72 is at least double that of any other player, and betters that accrued by five of the current Bundesliga teams so far this season. This is why he is basically essential in Fantasy Bundesliga.

Second in terms of both goals and xG is Patrik Schick (FOR, 15.6M), who has significantly overperformed his xG of 10.32 by +5.68 to keep him just three goals shy of Lewandowski. It has been frequently questioned whether he can maintain this overperformance, but his confidence and brilliant form from the Euros appear to have continued, thus far without end. Following him in the goalscoring charts is Erling Haaland (FOR, 18.3M), who, despite only playing in 11 of 17 games, has managed 13 goals, an xG of 8.84 (4th, also showing a high overperformance) and 46 shots (joint 5th). Now seemingly back to full fitness, he should begin to move up these rankings and become another player who is hard to go without.

The more budget-friendly talismans Anthony Modeste (FOR, 9.3M) and Taiwo Awoniyi (FOR, 9.1M) have also been having strong seasons so far, ranking 4th and joint 5th for goals and 3rd and 5th for xG, respectively. Köln’s attack has been particularly creative this season (see above). Modeste has been enjoying himself immensely as the main focal point, picking up 11 goals, aggregating an xG of 10.21 and taking 64 shots (2nd) in the process. Meanwhile, Union have relied quite heavily on Awoniyi for scoring goals, with his nine making up 39% of the team’s total up until this point. However, they will have to look for alternative solutions while Awoniyi is at AFCON with Nigeria over the next few weeks, making him a no-go for your Fantasy Bundesliga teams.

 

Assists and Expected Assists (xA)

Assists

  1. Thomas Müller (FCB) | 13
  2. Florian Wirtz (B04) | 8
  3. Andrej Kramaric (TSG) | 7
  4. Vincenzo Grifo (SCF), Moussa Diaby (B04), Filip Kostić (SGE) | 6
  5. Leroy Sané (FCB), Christopher Nkunku (RBL), Marco Reus (BVB), Karim Onisiwo (M05), Jude Bellingham (BVB) | 5

xA (A – xA)

  1. Thomas Müller (FCB) | 9.06 (+3.94)
  2. Vincenzo Grifo (SCF) | 5.83 (+0.17)
  3. Filip Kostić (SGE) | 5.64 (+0.36)
  4. Dominik Szoboszlai (RBL) | 4.92 (-0.92)
  5. Christopher Nkunku (RBL) | 4.80 (+0.20)

While much of the focus is typically on Lewandowski when the Bayern attack is considered, Thomas Müller (FOR, 18.7M) is arguably just as crucial. He is Bayern’s main creative force and has also been the most creative player in the league so far this season, accumulating an xA of 9.06 (1st) while racking up 13 assists (1st; thanks to his particularly clinical teammates). He is also the 3rd highest scorer in Fantasy Bundesliga (all positions) up to this point. 2nd and 3rd placed for xA are the two well-established Fantasy Bundesliga faces Vincenzo Grifo (MID, 14.8M) and Filip Kostić (MID, 17.3M), helped by their frequent involvements in set pieces. The pair rank 4th and 2nd respectively in terms of total points amongst midfielders and provide high points floors with potential for huge hauls. They should often not be too far from your thinking, as a result.

The two Leipzig midfielders Dominik Szoboszlai (MID, 12.1M) and Christopher Nkunku (MID, 17.2M) round off the xA top 5. Interestingly, despite playing around two-thirds of Nkunku’s minutes, Szoboszlai edges out Nkunku as the top chance creator of the two. With these limited minutes, Szoboszlai has managed three goals, four assists, and a points rate of 12 per 90 min this season, and he is currently the 6th highest scoring midfielder in the game. Nkunku’s high points potential is well known, but it is worth considering Szoboszlai’s explosive potential when he is due a good number of minutes.

 

Shots Saved

Arguably the most crucial statistic for Fantasy Bundesliga goalkeepers is shots saved. Listed below are the top shot-stoppers in the league over the course of the season so far. Their points earned through saves are listed in brackets (goalkeepers gain 3 pts per 2 shots kept, but there are mismatches due to individual game totals).

  1. Lukáš Hrádecky (B04) | 72 (96 pts)
  2. Mark Flekken (SCF) | 67 (87 pts)
  3. Manuel Riemann (VFL) | 66 (87 pts)
  4. Kevin Trapp (SGE) | 61 (75 pts)
  5. Yann Sommer (BMG) | 60 (78 pts)

Leading the way for shots saved so far this season is Lukáš Hrádecky (9.2M). Despite this, the Leverkusen shot-stopper is only the second-highest scoring goalkeeper in Fantasy Bundesliga overall, behind here second-placed Mark Flekken (7.8M). The difference is largely down to the differing favors of their two teams, with Freiburg having conceded fewer goals and kept more clean sheets. He also has the highest save percentage in the league at 80.3%. Combined with Freiburg’s low number of goals conceded and joint-high clean sheet tally, he has been the most reliable goalkeeper in Fantasy Bundesliga.

Another of the league’s reliable shot-stoppers has been Bochum’s Manuel Riemann (5.8M). The 3rd highest scoring goalkeeper has the highest points-per-value of all the regular starters and is capable of huge hauls – 17pts vs Freiburg (MD13) and vs Wolfsburg (MD1), and 20pts vs Frankfurt (MD9) – and even managed 5pts against Bayern in a 7-0 loss. He’s even taken a penalty this year – sadly, this was missed, so he is unlikely to be on them again! If you want to save your funds, he’s a great value keeper option.

Kevin Trapp (9.1M) and Yann Sommer (9M) round off the top five for shots saved. They are only the 5th and 8th highest scoring goalkeepers so far this season, respectively, and are both quite expensive, so if you’re looking in this price range, you’d probably be better going for Hrádecky. It’s also worth noting that all of the top 5 shot-stoppers have a save percentage of above 70% except Sommer, whose value of 62.8% places him in the lower half of the league’s goalkeepers for save percentage.

 

Duels Won

Finally, let’s take another look at the current Duels Won leaderboard from the Official Bundesliga website. The total points they have gained from these exploits are included in brackets, which consider their in-game positions (note that these are aggregated points from the individual games, so they may mismatch the total duels won).

  1. Lucas Höler (SCF) | 235 (40 pts)
  2. Danilo Soares (VFL) | 230 (78 pts)
  3. Wataru Endo (VFB) | 215 (38 pts)
  4. Nico Schlotterbeck (SCF) | 199 (64 pts)
  5. Jude Bellingham (BVB) | 193 (33 pts)

All of the top five duel winners in the league maintain their positions from the previous article (post MD11), with Lucas Höler (FOR, 8.7M) holding onto the top spot. Danilo Soares (DEF, 6.8M) keeps 2nd place and now only trails Höler by 5, showing his reliability for maintaining a steady stream of points via duels won. Staying under the radar with only 2% ownership, the Bochum defender is worth keeping an eye on for fixtures that might favour a large number of duels.

While midfield battlers Wataru Endo (MID, 9.2M) and Jude Bellingham (MID, 13.1M) continue to exhibit their duel-winning potentials, the extra points earned for duels won by defenders mean that this is unfortunately not as useful in a Fantasy Bundesliga sense. In addition to Soares, Nico Schlotterbeck (DEF, 9.4M), on the other hand, should be strongly considered for your teams for this reason. Impressively, he is currently only one point behind teammate Christian Günter (DEF, 13.1m), who is responsible for many of Freiburg’s set pieces. Schlotterbeck also carries more goal threat, earning more points than Günter from goals and goal attempts so far this season and having accrued a much higher xG (2.62, compared to Günter’s 0.61). With these factors considered, the almost 4m saving is hard to ignore.





In summary

Unsurprisingly, Bayern Munich are streets ahead in terms of attacking statistics. Their typical dominance of league games also means they rank highest/joint highest for the key defensive stats considered. RB Leipzig follow them in all attacking stats except actual goals scored, highlighting the frustration that their lack of clinical finishing has caused them (combined with their drop in defensive solidity relative to last season). Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen have also been free-scoring but, in contrast with Leipzig, have significantly overperformed their xG so far. However, with the in-form Patrik Schick and clinical Erling Haaland as the attacking focal points, this could well continue. Hoffenheim and FC Köln have also performed well in chance creation, with Hoffenheim in particular ranking 4th for xG and goals scored so far.

Defensively, the other teams that have impressed this season are FreiburgMainz 05 and Union Berlin. Each team offers good value defenders, but the Mainz and Union wing-backs Aaron Martín and Niko Giesselmann are perhaps the highlights in this sense.

Bayern’s lethal and experienced attacking pair Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller, lead the way for goal threat and assist potential, respectively. Lewandowski has accrued over double the xG of any other player in the league, while Müller is well ahead of the pack in terms of xA. The goal threat rankings read as a tale of talismanic strikers, with Patrik Schick, Erling Haaland, Anthony Modeste and Taiwo Awoniyi rounding off both the goals and xG top 5s. Familiar Fantasy Bundesliga faces Vincenzo Grifo and Filip Kostić follow Müller in the xA rankings, with Leipzig pair Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku completing the top five. This comes despite Szoboszlai only playing two-thirds of Nkunku’s minutes, and with three goals, four assists and a points rate of 12 per 90 min within this limited game time, his explosive potential is well worth considering when he is due to play.

Each of the top three scoring goalkeepers, Mark Flekken, Lukáš Hrádecky, and Manuel Riemann, also rank in the top three for shots saved, and all are worthy of consideration for your teams – Flekken for reliability/consistency, Hrádecky for save point potential, and Riemann for value. Top duel-winning defenders Danilo Soares and Niko Schlotterbeck are also well worth consideration; Schlotterbeck, in particular, is a cheaper alternative to teammate Christian Günter, with a greater goal threat.

 

Duels won, shots and shots saved stats taken from the BL website. The remainder is taken from Understat or FB Ref.


You can find additional Fantasy Bundesliga resources for the 21/22 season here.

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